Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Clever Engineer

Rauner recently acquired Le Diverse et Artificiose Machine del Capitano Agostino Ramelli (A Parigi: In casa del'autore..., 1588) or the Various and Ingenious Machines of Captain Agostino Ramelli.  Ramelli was a 16th-century engineer and his book is certainly diverse; it includes 195 mechanical designs for everything from water fountains to artificially singing birds to a book wheel to collapsible military bridges for siege work.

The designs are presented with a full-page illustration of the device and often feature insets of critical features. A page or more of explanatory text allows the reader to understand the proposed use and construction of the device. The text is given in both Italian and French, most likely reflecting Ramelli's Italian background and early military service under one of the de Medici's as well as his subsequent service with the Duke of Anjou.

Ask for Rare Book TJ 144 .R3.

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